As part of of plans to strengthen its performance for installers, the VEKA fabricator has welcomed new equipment at the Peterborough-based plant, which fabricates products from the Halo profile systems range. Following the investment, which has included the installation of a brand new Haffner SMR 5 head inline welding machine, the site's capacity is set to significantly increase, with the ability to fabricate 800 frames per week by the end of this year.
Glazerite acquired the site in February 2016 and has completely transformed its technical capabilities, aligning it with its other facilities in Bolton and Wellingborough. The results have been huge, with Glazerite East hugely increasing its output, and shortening its lead-time from three weeks to just five days.
Glazerite East has also recently installed a £100k Stuga cutting and machining centre, which was relocated from the group's Northwest division, as well as four new vertical tables, four door line tables, and a corner cleaner. With the addition of the new machinery, the plant has been completely reconfigured to optimise efficiencies and improve performance across all areas.
Matthew Thomas, Managing Director of Glazerite East, explains: "New equipment is part of a major overhaul of the site's capabilities, which has also seen improvements to the flow of the plant and freed up space for frame storage. The 5 head Haffner can weld two frames simultaneously, something we weren't able to do before, and it has made set up time and cycle times quicker and much more efficient.
"Since Glazerite took over the site three years ago, our team has been working hard to improve our lead times and output. We've already upped production from 350 to 600 frames per week, and cut lead times of standard products to just five days, in alignment with the rest of Glazerite."
Matthew adds: "The team here has undergone some major changes to work processes, and they've truly embraced the adoption of technology, moving from manual processes to automation on the shop floor. It's been a big but important culture change, and with additional training and support, we're seeing a real difference in how our team approach their work."
Next on the agenda for the 45-strong Glazerite East workforce is the soon-to-be-launched mechnical jointed version of the Halo Flush Sash, following an increase in demand from consumers looking for more authentic-looking windows.
Matthew adds: "Glazerite East has a bright future, and with the recent investment we're looking forward to increased production and enhancing our relationships with installers."